Friday, December 24, 2010

New symptom: hormones. Or, how I'm the worst sister in the world....

Ok, so the topic is hormones. No, for real. In the last several days I have cried several times a day – usually at heartwarming commercials on TV. I haven’t cried today, but I’m on the verge (scratch that – I just spent 30 min crying hiding from my husband’s family). Too much stuff, and all I want to do is hide from the world. On the whole, family makes me insanely happy. But my sister got engaged today. To a guy who I think is a dud. There’s nothing so terrible about him, but my main objection is that she has never seemed to think he’s The One. I never got the impression that she felt that strongly or liked him that much. Until very recently, when I got the impression that she got caught up in the momentum of being with someone for several years, and her feelings got overtaken by how much he likes her. He knows a good thing when he’s got it, so he’s got that going for him. But still. It’s really hard to watch my sister settle for someone who is often selfish and difficult for her to deal with. I know that I’m insanely lucky to have such an incredible man in my husband, and that everyone is different, but I want my siblings to have what I have – true love of the kind you never question. And instead she’s getting caught up in the idea that now is the right time for marriage in her life, and the self-justifying rationalization that if she’s been with him for this long she must really love him. She’s never asked me what I think about any of this, so I have never talked to her about it. So I need to get this out, so that I can cry and get over my disappointment, and then be a good sister and be happy for her in as sincere a way as I can. Please don’t think I’m the worst person in the world for not being happy for my sister. I want to be. That’s why I’m trying to get this out in anonymous blog land so that I can call her and rejoice appropriately. But it’s too much emotionally, on a day when I was already having a hard time being patient with myself and with my mother-in-law, and with my absent sister-in-law who decided that attending Christmas eve with her whole extended family and her mother who was recently diagnosed with cancer, was too much effort because the 4 hour drive would inconvenience her new husband, breaking the 30 year tradition. It’s all too much. But I’m a big person and I can grow bigger. Today. Because that’s what you do when you love your family. But what I really need is a hug and a good cry.

Friday, December 10, 2010

First snow!

I love snow. Like, really a lot. And I'm completely tickled that this is the kid's first snow. I know it can't tell that I'm looking at snow out the window, but I'm going to have some hot cocoa on the theory that it will feel the warm cozy sensation with me. It always makes me nervous to celebrate things like this, even within my own head, because I'm scared I'm somehow going to jinx it and something will happen to the baby. But for today I'm going to try to be happy and look not too far ahead.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

In other news

I puked for the first time today. I'm trying to remind myself that this is another tiny reduction in the miscarriage risk, since apparently women who puke miscarry slightly less than women who are only nauseated. So let's call it a good thing. It could have been a lot worse, but I hate puking, and it makes me feel really insecure feeling like it could happen again at any moment. I've been more emotional today than usual, and I don't know if it's a hormone surge that's causing both symptoms, or whether my emotions are just frayed from being afraid of vomiting again. Hopefully tomorrow will be better, because it's my husband's office holiday party.

Speaking of my husband, he told four people today. More than ever before. The sweetest story was when he told a coworker who has a one-year-old. They had also struggled for years (3 I think) to conceive. Lots of therapy. And basically they ended up getting pregnant while waiting to start IVF. I don't think they were very open about their struggle, but when my husband mentioned that we were having trouble while they were on a business trip, his coworker told him about how hard it was for him and his wife. It's made me feel closer to them from afar ever since, and it was just so nice for my husband to be able to finally give this friend the good news. Apparently he barely got into the office and said "so can you keep a secret for a couple of weeks?" and the friend immediately knew what he was talking about and jumped up and hugged him and told him how happy he is for us. I can't wait to see him tomorrow.

Finally, I'm struck by how different my work is from my husband's. My current boss has never had a trainee get pregnant before. None of the women in the lab have kids. So I'm continually expecting this news to hurt my career, and spend a lot of time thinking about how to show I'm still serious. I'm always surprised at how well people take it, no matter how many people I tell (10 so far? more?). In contrast, my husband works at a school where it seems like everyone is having kids all the time. They always have people on maternity leave, and his officemate has helped put together nanny-share arrangements for various people who work there. I think his life is a lot more normal than mine. But then again, when we were frustrated TTC, I could escape to work and throw myself into it without having constant reminders, and he had to go to work every day with happy pregnant people. Luckily, he's way better adjusted than I am : ) Still, I think this could be a great new advertising idea for lab science to draw in the frustrated infertiles.... "Biology: an escape from procreation" Catchy, right?

Telling the boss(es)

Thus far I have told 4 different people with the title “boss.” Four men to be specific (ah, science).

My future boss, starting in January, was actually a person I told when we started trying to conceive. And he and I have discussed the fact that we were using ART, and I had mentioned that it was looking like we’d have to start IVF pretty soon after I began working for him. I wanted to be as upfront as possible, since in a small lab any time off for a trainee can have an impact on a tenure-track scientist. But he’s a super family-friendly person, and a shoo-in for early tenure, so he has managed to be ridiculously positive about the whole thing. And in fact, he was one of the absolute first people I told when I found out I was pregnant. My husband agreed, he’s the person, after us, who probably has the most vested interest in this news : )

My current boss didn’t actually find out from me. I went into his office yesterday to tell him, but it turns out that a coworker I had told thought he already knew and spilled the beans. I thought that was fine, because that way I didn’t have to worry about his first reaction being inappropriate, but I also took pains to make sure he knew I was planning to tell him right away. I think we’re fine….

I told my two overseas supervisors in the same email message, and their reactions were completely opposite. One wrote back this morning responding to all of the logistical issues I brought up in my email (I won’t be able to fly there for my thesis defense when we had planned because it’s too late in the pregnancy, for example). I was a little surprised at this, since he’s a very family-oriented person, but I appreciated the logistical advice since he’s my main resource for that part of things.

What really surprised me was the reaction of my other overseas supervisor. He’s a great person, but we have always discussed almost exclusively science, and he has made a lot of sacrifices in his personal life for his career. He tends to be the most gruff of my advisors. And I see him less than once a year and speak to him only every 6 months or so. So I was completely shocked when he called me the moment he got the email. I wondered what he wanted to talk about so urgently (assuming it was logistics), but he launched into a description of how important the first 3-4 months of a pregnancy are, and urged me to take it easy over and over. He actually said “research will wait.” It was unexpected and really quite touching. He seemed so concerned about me. I have to say, it made me feel better about how lazy I’ve been about work in the last few weeks : ) It was just complete sweetness from the most unexpected source. And it made me feel great.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Long time away

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. Basically, I feel like crap, and I feel like an ungrateful jerk complaining about feeling like crap. My sense of smell is in miserable overdrive, I feel nauseated most of the time, and I'm completely exhausted. As a result, I have accomplished almost nothing in the last 2 weeks. My paper STILL isn't submitted, and it's entirely my own laziness. But hopefully I'll get better. I'm trying to remind myself that this period doesn't last forever.

I made an appointment with an OB who was highly recommended both by my fertility doctor and by two coworkers. It seemed like it would be worth it to have such an awesome doctor, even though the wait for a new patient appointment is weeks and weeks. So I have to be patient about getting to see the kid again. It's really hard, because obviously my anecdotal experience with other people's blogs is that miscarriage is a major threat. So given my way, I would have an ultrasound every week to make sure things are going as planned. But I'm trying to remind myself that what will be will be, and that my symptoms are continual reminders that the baby is doing what it's doing : ) Luckily, the last picture we got (at 8 weeks 3 days) is pretty awesome:

(heartbeat was 170bpm)

If you're reading this, I hope you're well. I really appreciate this community, and I promise to be more in touch in the coming days and weeks.